100-hour gunbattle in J&K's Kokernag, key challenges

IANS Photo

Srinagar, September 17 (IANS) At Kokernag in South Kashmir's Anantnag district, an intense gunbattle has been underway between the Pakistan-backed terrorists and security forces which entered the fifth day on Sunday.

In a valiant effort to eliminate a group of terrorists, four brave security forces personnel have made the ultimate sacrifice, including an Army Colonel, a Major, and a Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The operation, which has now lasted for over 100 hours and is still underway, has several key challenges.

The unforgiving terrain and dense foliage that provides a perfect cover for the elusive terrorists. To tackle this threat head-on, cutting-edge weaponry, including weaponized drones have been deployed to blast the cave hideouts.

But the stakes are high, and the security forces are proceeding with utmost caution, determined not to incur any more casualties.

"Every effort is made to ensure that the terrorists are neutralised without any collateral damages," an official said.

On Friday night, riveting footage emerged that captured the use of weaponized drones, strategically employed to neutralize terrorist cave hideouts.

The Anantnag operation has evolved into one of the most prolonged military engagements in Kashmir but the security forces are sparing no effort in their mission to eradicate terrorist hideouts nestled within the challenging terrain of Gadool Hill.

Inputs suggest that the area may be concealing two to three terrorists, including two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, among them self-styled LeT commander Uzair Khan.

"Our forces persist with unwavering resolve as they encircle 2 LET terrorists including Uzair Khan," Jammu and Kashmir Police said.